A few weeks ago I cited a piece about the new genre of books that take one object and investigate its Meaning down to the subatomic level. Here’s an example. If you were unaware that the waste-paper basket presents an existential conundrum, you can claim ignorance no longer:

Legrand’s unnumbered book arrives as the zeitgeist, as Heidegger probably would have put it, is unusually preoccupied with garbage cans. In many municipalities across the United States, one must practically have a degree in waste management before tossing one’s refuse in the trash. There’s a blue can for recyclables, a green one for compostables, and if your garbage is truly garbage, it goes in the black can, depending, of course, on where you live.

The zeitgeist is not preoccupied with garbage cans. Some people are preoccupied with it, and have made their preoccupations mandatory. Even if you are intent on proper garbage sorting, chances are it is not a preoccupation, but an internalized routine.


Until I read Paradox, I had not considered the possibility that waste paper baskets could be imbued with paradox, but Legrand has convinced me. In a perfect world, he postulates, the office is a place where work is performed efficiently and at high speed. But the presence of a waste paper basket is proof of the opposite condition, since it’s designed to be filled with failures. Thus, as Legrand puts it, a waste bin is “a jelled temporality.”

At first I read “jellied temporality,” which sounds like some awful Dr. Who dessert. Same thing, really. Try this the next time someone asks if you want that wastebasket emptied. I don’t know. It’s under the desk and I can’t see it. I don’t know if it’s empty or full. It might contain Schrodinger’s cat. I prefer to keep it in a state of temporality, jelled, fixed in amber, caught in the transition between utility and abandonment.

GEEK You know there’s anticipation of ten tons of quality Star Wars when i09 readers feel confident debating the need for a Boba Fett movie.  

Why the unending fascination with the character - especially after his backstory was revealed? One comment notes that he was cool “by cultural consensus,” which is exactly right.

He back-talked Darth Vader. Han Solo immediately knew who he was and was a little freaked out by it. If the heroes and villians of the show pay him respect then we, as the audience, assume some credibility.

That all said, I don’t want to see an origin story. I want to see a movie that starts with him fighting his way out of the belly of the Sarlacc.

As with so much of Star Wars, it was the things fans invested in the movies that made them expand in the imagination. Fett’s a perfect example, even though at the time his bumbling topple into the Sarlaac maw was underwhelming. We all thought the Sarlaac was cool, though. Never occurred to us at the time that it was a ridiculous thing. A desert planet has a gargantuan immobile worm in the sand, waiting for prey to fall in? And then it would take 500 years to digest it? Something that big would not wait half a century. It would digest whatever it had like Orson Welles surviving on one Tic-Tac a day. While we’re on the subject of desert planets, with their shifting, unstable surfaces:

Yeah, that’s not going to tip over, ever.